"Sometimes fate takes too long." So reads the tagline on the home page for matchmaker.com, an Internet personals site.
But anyone who's tried Internet dating (or any kind of dating, for that matter) knows that putting yourself out there is no guarantee of success. You're really just meeting fate halfway.
For Adam Benjamin Hochman, 29, son of Sharon and Leon Hochman of West Bloomfield, Mich., and Jennifer Lynn Baumer, 31, daughter of Rita and Charles Baumer of Los Angeles, fate seems to have cooperated. The San Francisco residents met on Matchmaker.com some three and a half years ago, and will marry at the Skirball Cultural Center on Aug. 3.
Initially, Adam's e-mails had Jennifer a bit wary.
"While other men devoted pages to philosophical discussions," she recalled, "Adam simply scribbled off his weekend meals."
But after talking to him on the phone, the day school English teacher was won over by his sense of humor.
"I don't remember a single topic we talked about, but I do remember how we stumbled over our words -- how I laughed so much that my cheeks hurt afterward," she said.
They met for the first time on a Sunday in February 2000 and walked through the arboretum in Golden Gate Park before dining on udon in an Asian noodle shop.
Adam, a web project manager for Educational Technology Services at UC Berkeley, admitted to having "a knot in my stomach" when the date began. But Jennifer's loquaciousness soon put him at ease.
"She gesticulated passionately as if she conducted her words ... Jennifer talks with her hands. And I was into it. I noticed that I no longer felt nervous," he said.
They dated for several months, eventually moving into a house together with Jennifer's sister, Aviva, and another roommate. The following June, they moved into a new apartment on their own.
One morning, the following November, Adam went out to Jennifer's favorite bakery. In the bag with Jennifer's brioche, he'd placed the engagement ring they'd picked out together a month before.
Though it's doubtful Adam now remembers any of the meals he scribbled on about in those first e-mails to Jennifer, there is one meal he recalls sweetly. He recently noted, "Now udon is one of my favorite meals, and Jennifer, my favorite dinner partner."